Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Wee Rant

For several posts now, I have been trying to assure and reassure everyone that things are really good out here in The World of Pobble, so have been focusing solely on the good stuff. That tends to be my nature, anyway. However! Now that I think we've all had enough time to realize that, yep, life is back on track for me, it's time for a rant (or four). Without further ado...

1. I am a grown ass woman. As such, I get to choose if I learn to ride a bike or not at this stage in my life. And if I don't, it's not because I'm not determined enough or strong willed enough. It's because my legs work just fine for walking and riding a bike isn't worth the falling off part any longer.

2. The same goes for camping/roughing it/wilderness life. No, I don't want to camp. No, I don't want to become less citified. No, I don't need to experience life in the rough or without indoor plumbing. No, I haven't done it. I haven't stabbed myself repeatedly with sharp objects, either. That doesn't mean I have to do so to know I don't want to do it again. I am grown and have a really good sense of what I want and what I don't want. I don't want to camp. And guess what? That doesn't make me a bad person! As it is, I've held my own in the Interior for two weeks, quite well, thankyouverymuch. I am not running around in corsets and thigh highs. I am not pairing my capri pants with stiletto pumps. And I have managed to charm everyone I have met, including your ass, in spite of being out of my element. Let's drop you off in Dudley Square, or at the Ramrod, or in Beacon Hill and see if you can say the same thing at the end of two weeks. You don't bust my ass about not owning rugged clothing and I won't bust yours for not owning a tux to wear to the opera.

3. A little closer to civilization as I've always known it...Doing your job isn't being pushy! And part of your job is to deliver bad news. Nowhere in your job description does it say "ignore emails that might make you feel bad." I guarantee it! How did you get to be here, let alone take her place, if you don't have the skirt to do the job?????

4. And finally, the amazingly consistent, seemingly unending rant of my life: I am not the only one responsible for our friendship! Dayum. Yes, I end up in weird places. Yes, I sometimes end up in unexpected time zones. And yes, I often have no cell service OR no internet. I have yet to be somewhere where I didn't have either. Most often, I have both. And guess what? Email knows no time zone, anyway. (Ooo...that's kind of catchy, isn't it? That should be on a t-shirt. Email Knows No Time Zone. Or a Country-Western song. Hm...Digressing...sorry...) Anyway! Be in touch with me, too. And don't act all superior as if I am deigning to be in touch with you and making time for you when you haven't bothered to be in touch with me.


Thanks for listening. Y'all are the best.

Those are (a wee bit perturbed) Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Phrases You Don't Often Hear in the Lower 48

* So, do you have indoor plumbing yet?
* Eh, take her down to the dump. Maybe you'll get lucky.
* Know that when you're walking home, the planes have the right of way.
* (on a sign) Oncoming traffic yields to taxiing aircraft.
* Nevermind the grass; water the helicopter.

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Beginning of the End

The Senate Armed Services Committee voted Thursday to end "don't ask, don't tell," the controversial policy barring openly gay men and lesbians from serving in the military.

The measure, which passed 16 to 12, includes a provision ensuring that no change would take effect until after the Pentagon completes a study about its impact on troops, due to Congress Dec. 1.

The House was scheduled to vote late Thursday or Friday on an identical measure. Lawmakers there expect it to be approved, and the full Senate would vote on it next month.

The provision, which lawmakers are attaching to a $726 billion defense funding bill, would take effect only if the Defense Department study determines that changing the policy would not affect the military's ability to fight wars or recruit soldiers. ...

"We believe changing a major social policy in the middle of two wars would be a mistake and distraction," said American Legion National Commander Clarence E. Hill.

Duane J. Miskulin, national commander of AMVETS, said Congress should wait to act until after the Pentagon completes its study of how to implement a repeal. "We can't simply overturn 'don't ask, don't tell' and deal with any unintended consequences after the fact while trying to fight two wars," Miskulin said. ~ By Perry Bacon Jr. and Ed O'Keefe Washington Post Staff Writer Thursday, May 27, 2010; 6:57 PM

You know what I think? I think those soldiers fighting in those two wars have seen so much more horror and have such bigger issues to deal with right now that who the person waiting back home for their buddy is really ain't gonna matter. These straight men and women aren't children playing dress-up or Elliot Ness and Al Capone in the backyard. The are soldiers. Grown and all. And have more to worry about right now than if the guy at their back or the woman at the wheel is gay or straight. Stop using them as an excuse to not do what's right. Trust me, they don't need your protection nearly as much as you wish they did.

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Addendum: The House has voted to repeal. And shame on you, John McCain.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Have you ever noticed when someone says "No disrespect meant..." or "With all due respect..." what follows is usually not terribly respectful?

It is so much easier to request/demand/expect respect for the issues and causes we believe in than it is to offer it to issues and causes we disagree with.

We have almost entirely lost the ability to argue and disagree respectfully. Even when it starts that way, when the other person doesn't change their mind, it devolves.

Agreeing to disagree and/or admitting we recognize and acknowledge the other side and experience ~ and still don't change our minds ~ isn't acceptable. We don't want respectful disagreement; we want to be right.

Somewhere along the line, being right took the place of being respected.

Just some things I've noticed the last week or so.

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Fashion and Alaska

First, let me say that the hospitality I've received at the little inn here in Clear has been impeccable. The owner is delightful and warm and welcoming. Just so there's no confusion after that last post.

Now...Lithus and I have identified three main fashion styles that I wear: Victorian Gothic; Rockabilly; and what Lithus has lovingly and with great appreciation dubbed "Fallujah journalist", e.g. cargo or capri pants, one of his button down shirts, flip flops and my hair pulled up and away from my face.

From the very beginning and that infamous trip to the North Carolina swamp, I have bopped around helibases in my heels, wearing my own style. The only time I wore sneakers was the hard push to get the aircraft back from Mexico in record time, and I was walking 5 miles a day every day that week, not to mention in and out of the aircraft and lugging luggage. Otherwise, I dress the way I dress.

Here in Clear, I'm playing my cards just a little differently. Spending more time dressed in my Fallujah journalist wear and less time in my Victorian Gothic. Were we going to be here all season, I might feel differently about it. I might, indeed, pull out my new heels and my black skirts and even my bangles. For only one more week, yeah, I can handle cargo pants and flip flops. But my heels are coming back out as soon as we hit Fairbanks. ;)

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Clear, Alaska

I don't know where to start. Truly, I do not. Have you ever seen the movie My Cousin Vinny? Marisa Tomei and Joe Pesci play New Yorkers who show up in a tiny southern town. Hilarity ensues. My favorite scene (everyone's favorite scene, in my experience) includes this exchange:

Mona Lisa Vito
: [Vinny looks at her funny] What?
Vinny Gambini
: Nothing. You stick out like a sore thumb around here.
Mona Lisa Vito
: Me? What about you?
Vinny Gambini
: I fit in better than you. At least I'm wearing cowboy boots.
Mona Lisa Vito
: Oh yeah, you blend.

My friends, here in Clear, Alaska, (pop. 216) I blend.

And I even dressed down this morning.

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Fairbanks International Airport...

...has internet access. For the first time in three weeks, I have internet access! I want to shout it from the rooftops. I won't. Even in Alaska, that's considered a little crazy (at least, I assume it would be, even here ~ although thinking about it, maybe not. Still, why risk it? Digressing Pobble...) I'm also assuming our hotel will have internet access, so I will be back up and running sooner rather than later. Just in case, though, I'm squeezing a quick post in while I wait for Lithus's flight.

So what have I been doing the last three or so weeks without internet access? I wish I could tell you I've been writing furiously and productively. While I haven't been completely uncreative, I haven't been nearly as productive as I needed to be. I also haven't been working out, eating well, or curing cancer.

During the days, I have been alone. Do my long time readers remember how much time I used to spend alone? How happy I was that way? And do you realize that from the time Lithus and I arrived in Connecticut for what was supposed to be 10 days before Malaysia back in October, I haven't been alone a single night. So I have been being alone.

I have been coming to grips with October through January. They weren't good. They were so not good that, while I have begun to come to grips with them, I am still not ready to share them. Not even here. And luckily, I have been able to identify the positive stuff that came of that time as well as the negative. However, that was not quite as necessary as admitting the negative because the entire time, I was forcing myself to see the positive, while shoving the negative as far down in my secret soul as it would go. The point is, I am finally coming to grips with it.

Lithus and I have been rediscovering who we are together. We have laughed more in the last three or so than we have since October. And part of what kept us going during last winter was our ability to laugh, so that's saying something.

I have been getting on top of the financial issues that exploded by November and only got worse as time went on. Things aren't resolved yet but they are getting better. Every day, it gets a little better.

I have acknowledged I'm behind the eight ball with the next book. I have even been able to email my editor and say that to her and ask for her advice.

I have been exploring Anchorage. What an incredibly great city. I'm seriously falling in love here. Who would've guessed it?????

I have been writing letters. Most of my addresses are on my email (*cough*Cam and Mrs. Pike *cough*) so some have sat on my bedside table, hoping for a whisper of internet. Some, though, I have in an old-school, pencil and paper address book. And I've been writing letters again.

I have realized all the things I've learned and gotten to a point where I can be grateful for those lessons, even as learning them was so incredibly painful.

I have come to grips with relationships and people who were no longer what and who I had known them to be.

I have been able to find gratitude for new relationships and people I had no idea could be what they have become.

I have been busy. Doing nothing. And doing everything. And sometimes, that's the best busy we can be.

Hopefully, I will have access and will be around online again. Fingers crossed, anyway, because as good as the last few weeks have been, I'm starting to get antsy. You'll know almost as soon as I do. :)

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

addendum: Four hours later. Have made the hotel. Have internet access. :)